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WATSONVILLE, Calif. --The California Strawberry Commission will award scholarships to 34 high school seniors for the first year of college, thanks to the state's Strawberry Growers' Scholarship Fund, which will award scholarships to 65 continuing college students for the 2005-2006 academic year.
The awards will be presented during luncheons to be held in Irvine, Oxnard, Santa Maria, and Watsonville, at which the academic achievements of the students will be recognized and celebrated with their families, friends, teachers, counselors, and local dignitaries.
"Over the past 10 years, the strawberry industry has had the pleasure of awarding 238 students first-year college scholarships," said Neil Nagata, president of the CSC's scholarship program and the Growers' Scholarship Fund. "We look forward to watching these dedicated students excel and reach their goals."
Students receiving a scholarship from the commission will be attending a variety of prominent colleges and universities throughout the state. To qualify, applicants must have at least one parent who has been employed as a strawberry farm worker for the past two consecutive seasons. Students must attend a vocational school, junior college, or four-year university to be eligible for the scholarship.
The California Strawberry Growers' Scholarship Fund was formed by Golden State strawberry farmers and allied industry members to enable children of strawberry farm workers to further their educational goals. This program provides continued funding to students who have received the commission's first-year scholarship.
Students who receive an award from the fund can apply it to their second, third, or fourth year of undergraduate education and to the first year of a graduate program. Funds from both programs are awarded based on merit and are sent directly to the student's school to be applied toward tuition and books.